Blair launched his new summer identity a few weeks ago; we didn't greet it with enough recognition. It's his new seasonal dress. That is, where others create a new costume, Blair creates a new character with which to project his ideas. The full collection will make a lovely archive next year.
This new one isn't as attractive as earlier incarnations (we loved Public School Scrum Half and the most recent Amused Elder).
This one may not actually be a character, merely an intensified version of his previous Passionate Messiah (never one of my favourites with all its talk of healing the scars of Africa, and invading Iraq). He has a sort of electrified way about him. That's very different, incidentally, from "an electrifying way".
He throws his switches and beams the vital political life force across the hall. The fingers jab and flash; he snaps his fist and splays his hands. And the voice! It's right up to its limit; sometimes it sounds like Silverstone.
Unfortunately under the onslaught of passion his courteous instincts have suffered progressive decay. His defence against quite mild charges sounds furious. He returns to old, forgotten charges even more furiously. And his most furious defence consists of: "It's not my fault!"
This isn't quite the way a man leaving a large, confident legacy behaves, it seems to me. "I didn't do it!" It's undignified. "And if I did do it, you can't prove it was me that did it! And if you can prove it was me that did it you can't prove it was me doing what you said you'd proved me doing what you didn't say I wasn't doing!"
Then he furiously attacks the questioner for failing to vote in favour of the Government's programme of legislative therapy.
Although Cameron has just two (rather puppyish) characters to put into play, he does have one enormous advantage: the best hair in the House. But there is on the top and slightly to the right of his crown, a long, odd streak of incipient baldness. So it begins. In three years' time he'll be pointing his polished skull at the country and denouncing asylum-seekers to shore up the Tories' core vote.
The Speaker disgraced himself twice. He seemed to agree with a Labour heckler that the Tory leader was wrong in one of his assertions. A Speaker with genuinely impartial instincts would never have said it. And he also told David Heath to "get on with it". Heath is a model of politeness, conciseness and parliamentary decorum. The Speaker is a clapped-out Caledonian who gives the Scots a bad name (something that is more and more easily done these days).
NB: It transpired yesterday that Blair has appointed a Liveability Minister. Why, in the name of every four letter word in the world, do we need a Liveability Minister?Reuse content